An Inexpensive, Rapid Diagnostic Test for COVID-19

Low-cost rapid detection of COVID-19 with 90% accuracy developed by Penn Medicine provides COVID-19 results within four minutes with 90 percent accuracy. A paper published this week in Matter details the fast and inexpensive diagnostic test, called RAPID 1.0 (Real-time Accurate Portable Impedimetric Detection prototype 1.0). Compared to existing methods for COVID-19 detection, RAPID is inexpensive and highly scalable, allowing the production of millions of units per week. The RAPID technology uses electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), which transforms the binding event between the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike protein and its receptor in the human body, the protein ACE2 (which provides the entry point for the coronavirus to hook into and infect human cells), into an electrical signal that clinicians and technicians can detect. That signal allows the test to discriminate between infected and healthy human samples. The signal can be read through a desktop instrument or a smartphone.

The researchers assessed the performance of RAPID using both COVID-19 positive and negative clinical samples from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, including samples of the highly contagious UK B117 variant. In blinded tests, they analyzed 139 nasal swab samples–109 of which were COVID-19 positive and 30 COVID-19 negative, as determined by standard RT-PCR clinical assessments. The team also analyzed 50 saliva samples from patients. For the nasal swab samples, RAPID was 87.1 percent accurate. For saliva samples, RAPID was 90 percent accurate.


Ref Link: doi.org/10.1016/j.matt.2021.05.003.

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